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First Black-Owned Streaming Channel Announced

By Danielle Sanders, Chicago Defender Interim Managing Editor Polaris, the 100% black-owned television, digital and social media platform, today announced the launch of its first free ad-supported streaming TV channel (FAST), to debut on VIZIO’s SmartCast platform. Created by digital media pioneer and legendary journalist, Rahman J. Dukes, Polaris exists to uncover and share stories created by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and authentically share Hip-Hop and Black culture with the world. With guidance from the Polaris board, iconic media personality Sway Calloway (MTV) and music historian Shaheem Reid, Polaris delivers a superior viewing experience through authentic, meaningful content that channels the spirit of...

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United Way Worldwide Names Angela F. Williams as President and CEO

United Way Worldwide today announced that Angela F. Williams will become the next president and CEO of the organization.  Williams will be the first woman and first African American to lead United Way’s Worldwide organization.  She currently serves as president and CEO of Easterseals, a role she has held since 2018.  Her appointment takes effect on October 15, 2021.    Named to Forbes’ 2021 List of Women 50 Over 50 Creating Social Change at Scale, Williams brings more than 30 years of management experience to this role, including significant executive leadership experience in major non-profit organizations. Before joining Easterseals, Williams spent 11 years as EVP, general...

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Minority Communities Need Medicare Advantage. Don’t cut it.

By: Martin Hamlette, JD, MHA It will be years before we learn all the lessons of the COVID crisis, but some are coming into view even now. This pandemic has not hit all communities equally. As we recover, policymakers have a responsibility to avoid the mistakes of the past. Congress is considering historic investments in the social safety net. As they do so, those investments should not be paid for by cuts to programs that help minority communities. One program that Black and Brown Americans increasingly rely upon is Medicare Advantage, the privately run alternative to fee-for-service Medicare. This program has better health outcomes and advances...

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Minority Equality Opportunities Acquisition Inc. Becomes First Minority-Led SPAC Traded on NASDAQ

Minority Equality Opportunities Acquisition Inc. Becomes the First Minority-Led SPAC Traded on NASDAQ, Closes $126.5 million IPO The upsized $126.5 million SPAC will target historically undercapitalized minority business enterprises (“MBEs”) for mergers and acquisitions On August 26, 2021, Minority Equality Opportunities Acquisition Inc. (“MEOA”) became the first minority-led special purpose acquisition company or SPAC listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market (“NASDAQ”), trading under the ticker symbol “MEOAU.” Led by Mr. Shawn Rochester, MEOA’s Chairman and CEO, and Ms. Robin Watkins, its Chief Financial Officer and Secretary, the blank check company will focus its business combination search and transactions on historically undercapitalized minority-owned/controlled businesses in various industry...

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OP-ED: To Labor Day and Labor Days Ahead

By UAW President Ray Curry In 1882, a union man, Peter J. McGuire, founder of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and an early supporter of the creation of the American Federation of Labor, suggested setting aside a day for a “general holiday for the laboring classes.” Almost 130 years later, Labor Day continues to celebrate those who did the work and the magnificent job they have done in building what I will always believe to be, the greatest nation on Earth. One hundred and thirty years later, America will again thank those who figured it out; those who pitched in; those who rolled up their...

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Dr. Brien Walton from Husson University Named the First African-American Chair of the Maine Venture Fund Board of Directors

Husson University announced today that Brien Walton, JD, EdD, director of the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business and assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Husson University’s College of Business, was named the first African-American chair of the Maine Venture Fund Board of Directors. Governor Janet Mills of Maine appointed all of the board members. “I am delighted Dr. Walton has agreed to chair the Maine Venture Fund,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I appointed Brien to the Board because of his vast experience managing a technology-focused venture capital fund and his reputation for creating innovative business strategies for high potential companies. The depth of his knowledge...

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Jackson State University President Promotes HBCU Legacy in Detroit with Saturday Fundraiser

Jackson State University President Thomas K. Hudson visited Detroit on Saturday, July 31 for a funding-raising event for the historically Black university located in Jackson, Mississippi. By Sherri Kolade Jackson State University, a historically Black college/university, has been changing the lives of thousands of students since it opened its doors in 1877. The HBCU, which has undergone seven name changes, was founded as Natchez Seminary in 1877 by the American Baptist Home Mission Society, according to the school’s website. Jackson State University has since expanded and flourished as an HBCU, and JSU president Thomas. K. Hudson – a Jackson native and a JSU class of 1999...

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Fair or Finessed: Are Black Athletes Getting Unequal Treatment?

In a world where humans get conditioned to climb the ranks and work at their best, Black people are often missing from the conversation and not from lack of trying. The First female African-American all-around world champion and winner of the Most World Championship gold medals won by a female gymnast in history Simone Biles is arguably the greatest female gymnast. Despite consistently proving herself to be a force in her field, Biles is a Black woman who is currently fighting to get her just due.  In her new virtual show on Facebook, Biles describes her complicated journey with receiving scores that reflect the amount of...

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The First of Many… Hooray?

When most people think of the saying “delayed but not denied,” it is regarding a specific, overdue outcome that was months or years in the making. It comes with feelings of gratitude and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. But what is joy when the lack of recognition is specific to a race of people? In recent weeks, the African-American community has experienced a series of historic firsts - winning national spelling bees to breaking athletic records. While the victories are sweet, they leave a bitter taste in the mouths of many who feel like Black athletes deserve recognition on a large scale and a more consistent...

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